Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new art exhibit is opening at Hotel Louisville. It's an artists gallery filled with paintings of people, landscapes, and bright colors. But there's a story behind the brush.
For an artist, a blank canvas can be one of the hardest places to start. But Steve McGee will tell you it's not as hard as starting over. "Because of the brain injury, I can't be a plumber anymore," he says.
Ask him about May 2, 1980, and he tells you, "We went down to the Chow Wagon and tried to drink all the draft beer they had -- and you can't do that."
The drunk driving crash that followed injured him, cost him his marriage, and left his brain bruised as purple as the sky he paints.
"You can't drink and drive," he says. Now he's one of many artists at Creative Diversity. As he worked on a recent painting, he commented, "I've got too much purple, I wanted more yellow."
Creative Diversity is a haven for artists like him. They're preparing for a gallery show at Hotel Louisville. The artists there share a common thread.
Josh Davis explains, "I was riding a bicycle and was struck by a car on Preston Highway." He adds, "The doctors told my parents, 'He's not going to live through the night.'"
Roger Rawlins says, "June 24th was 10 years ago -- I had a motorcycle accident."
And yet there they are, drawing, painting, creating art and new lives for themselves.
Creative Diversity Executive Director Bronwen Harris says, "It's great. I'm really seeing a lot of artists come out of their shells for being here."
McGee says, "Visually, you can't see my scars -- you can barely see a wrinkle -- but that doesn't show a bruised brain. It doesn't fully heal." His do-over began with painting using water colors 24 years ago. A former plumber, he supplements his disability income by unclogging his mind with a dash of color. "I'm proud of what I do here."